Last week I attended a meeting of the Old Trails Regional Tourism Partnership in Arrow Rock. This group is moving forward with plans to hire an executive director and partner with USDA Rural Development to promote tourism in our region. Here is some information provided by the group:
Organized in 2009, The Old Trails Regional Tourism Partnership is a grassroots, not-for-profit group working to promote economic development, a unique tourism attraction and entrepreneurial opportunities within the Saline County. This network provides organizational structure and resources necessary for coordinated marketing, protection, promotion and enhancement of historical, agricultural and natural resources of the region.
The Missouri Regional Cuisines Project and National Scenic Byway projects are concurrently underway to bolster the group's objectives and values. The Missouri Regional Cuisines Project is designed to market Missouri wine and food products using labels of origin, or geographic indicators. These labels will communicate the scenic, historic and cultural assets of the Old Trails Region, while enlivening the area's ability to draw on economic development and tourism opportunities
The Old Trails Scenic Byway will expand on past efforts of the Missouri Department of Transportation to designate portions of the Old Trails route as historic and scenic. The Old Trails Scenic Byway will extend from Fort Osage on the west to the Missouri River at Boonville on the east, following the basic route of the historic Santa Fe Trail. Ultimately, this route will be nominated to the list of 125 National Scenic Byways in 44 states.
University of Missouri Extension and the Extension Community Economic and Entrepreneurial Development program (ExCEED) support the Old Trails Regional Tourism Partnership in developing new strategies for economic development that focus on the assets and talents within the region. Through this place-based approach, the region defines its future and creates a more stable economic future. ExCEED focuses on development of entrepreneurship and local business development, youth engagement, leadership and community development.
There are hundreds of interesting places to visit within the Old Trails Region Tourism partner-businesses and other unique destinations within the region. The counties on both sides of the Missouri River in West Central Missouri form an area rich in history, cultural heritage and agriculture. There is history and a variety of orchards, wineries, unique shops, restaurants and bed and breakfasts that make this area a destination for travelers looking for an authentic getaway for a day, a weekend, even a lifetime. To visit the Old Trails Regional Tourism, please go to: www.oldtrails.net
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